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October 28, 2012

There’s help prepping kids for school

NORMAN — Part of my job as a parent is to make my children self-reliant. I need to teach them how to do things, then actually step back and let them do those things themselves. Sometimes they figure it out right away. Other times they need a little more help.

I’ll never forget when one of my boys used the microwave by himself for the first time. He was warming up a leftover breadstick. He put it in the microwave, set the timer and sat down on the couch. After a few minutes, I noticed the microwave was still running. We all rushed into the kitchen and stopped it. It turned out, he had set the timer for 40 minutes instead of 40 seconds. The breadstick was pretty hot, but there weren’t any other problems. It also gave us all a pretty good laugh.

That day was a life lesson for my son. He learned from that experience, and to my knowledge that hasn’t happened again. It also reminded me of something that most parents already know. You are your child’s first teacher.

Being that first teacher isn’t always easy, but there is help available. Early Birds is a Success By 6 Norman program. The program helps parents get their children ready for school by arming them with information, activities and materials to help them learn and succeed.

Success By 6 Norman has partnered with Norman Public Schools to offer on the program to parents. This past week, dozens of Pre-K teachers attended a training about Early Birds. Those teachers will take what they learned back to the classroom and then teach parents during parent/teacher conference days.

Topics covered will include child development, everyday learning opportunities, health and safety. Parents will also receive free toys and materials that foster school readiness at home. Parents with children in Pre-K should talk to their teacher about when the classes will be offered.

For more information on Early Birds, contact Success By 6 Norman at 405-364-3800.

Jed Dembowski is vice president of marketing and communications for United Way of Norman. He can be reached at 405-329-2025.

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